I am working towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences in order to gain a Masters Degree and I have finally admitted to having some attachment issues with Canterbury University.
This has been one of my longest and most successful relationships my relationship with higher education. It is one sided but I am in love with learning.
Earlier this week I sat in a class mostly full of well paid professionals and I thought about my own status as a beneficiary and student. I thought about the client group I work with and target, and the distance between their patients. Where I live in Avondale, the locally produced magazine reported that 6 beggars been identified and that they are being disruptive to some businesses or perhaps intimidating people. I would really like to work with these people as I am sure they just need some support perhaps to get into housing or maybe get back on a benefit? No address , no benefit usually.
But it was the people I shared my learning space and our speakers that impressed me. Is it wrong to ask how much people earn? well it can be considered vulgar by some. But in health practitioner circles it's ok to ask how much they charge per hour, after all many health practitioners are in effect small businesses trying to make a profit.
One school counsellor who I thought came dangerously close to breaching confidentiality told us she was worth $70.00 per hour, even if the students accessing her special phone outside of work was calling about a ridiculously trivial matter. Perhaps she could waive her fee and just act more generously.
Another fantastic practitioner outlined their treatments and the amazing success and high level of care which was good value at $300.00. and it is no doubt if you have that much money available.
I am a beneficiary and I am also a student. However I value my time and believe in my ability to make changes. I am part of the organisation Auckland Action Against Poverty and put time into trying to save the Avondale Post Office from closure. I also would like to engage with the local beggars as they have been labelled to discover if they are homeless and if so receiving any income. Not having an address means you cannot usually receive a benefit. Maybe these people have been in care and now are still too unwell to cope on their own?
What ever their reason for being on the street asking for money, I am willing to donate some of my time and perhaps solve a problem which most people just want to avoid.The other thing that occurred to me was, if I can donate my time to helping some one for free , why can't all health professionals donate an hour a week or provide a free appointment to those most in need and also likely to benefit most.I wish I could afford the treatment that was described. I also I know that my hourly rate (while studying and on a benefit) is under the minimum wage but that is not what I am worth. I know, not to confuse what people pay, or don't pay me with what I am worth. I certainly know my value and the value of things that do not always have a monetary value.